Forty-three Americans have held the job of President of the United States. Each has a story, be it one of vision, accomplishment, conflict, scandal, triumph, or tragedy. And each story is at the center of the national story, a part of what we all experience. History buffs find endless fascination - and a greater understanding of America today - in the colorful personalities and momentous events that surround the Oval Office. If you want the complete take on U. S. presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush, you'll appreciate "U. S. Presidents for Dummies". Written in a lively style by a history professor at the University of Texas, this fun guidebook of chief executives is packed with information, factoids, and memorable quotes. Inside, you'll find out which president: Promised to only serve one term, and kept his word! Was a great person but a rotten president; Campaigned on nothing but image - in the nineteenth century! May be the most underrated president in history; Had his own distributor bringing liquor to the White House - during Prohibition!
Appointed the first female cabinet member; pushed through the first civil rights legislation after the end of the Civil War; Said of himself, "I am a man of limited talents from a small town. I don't seem to grasp that I am president". "U. S. Presidents for Dummies" offers a wealth of knowledge on what it takes to be the leader of the free world, and who has stepped up to the challenge. Dividing the ranks of presidents into chronological groups for a broader, historical understanding of the office, this book discusses: the birth and evolution of the presidency; ineffective presidents; forgettable presidents; working up to the Civil War; reconstruction presidents; becoming a force in the world; instituting the Imperial Presidency; and, today's changing dynamics and the Presidency. A treasury of information, this book features an easy-to-comprehend style and sharp historical analysis. Sidebars, photos, timelines, and best and worst lists make "U. S. Presidents for Dummies" a historical blast to read and a must-have for understanding the state of both yesterday's and today's union.
Introduction. Part I: Examining the Office and the Officeholders. Chapter 1: Presidents and the Presidency. Chapter 2: Presidential Rankings and Evaluations. Part II: Starting with Known Quantities: Washington to John Quincy Adams. Chapter 3: Starting Well with George Washington. Chapter 4: The Authoritarian and the Philosopher: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Chapter 5: Prominent but Ineffective: Madison, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams. Part III: Enduring the Best and the Worst: Jackson to Buchanan. Chapter 6: Standing Firm: Andrew Jackson. Chapter 7: Forgettable: Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, and Tyler. Chapter 8: Dreaming of California: James K. Polk. Chapter 9: Working Up to the Civil War: Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan. Part IV: Becoming a Force in the World: Lincoln to Hoover. Chapter 10: Preserving the Union: Abraham Lincoln. Chapter 11: Reconstructing the Country: Johnson, Grant, and Hayes. Chapter 12: Closing Out the Century: Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, and Benjamin Harrison. Chapter 13: Influencing the World: McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft. Chapter 14: Protecting Democracy: Woodrow Wilson. Chapter 15: Roaring through the '20s with Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. Part V: Instituting the Imperial Presidency: Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon. Chapter 16: Boosting the Country and Bringing Back Beer: Franklin D. Roosevelt. Chapter 17: Stopping the Buck at Harry Truman. Chapter 18: Liking Ike: Dwight David Eisenhower. Chapter 19: Fulfilling Family Expectations: John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Chapter 20: Fighting for Might and Right: Lyndon Johnson. Chapter 21: Covering Up: Richard Nixon. Part VI: Changing the Dynamics: Gerald Ford to George W. Bush. Chapter 22: The Career Politician and the Peanut Farmer: Ford and Carter. Chapter 23: A Starring Role for Ronald Reagan. Chapter 24: Acting Out: George Bush and Bill Clinton. Chapter 25: Getting the Call: George W. Bush. Part VII: The Part of Tens. Chapter 26: The Ten Best Presidents. Chapter 27: The Ten Worst Presidents. Chapter 28: Ten Presidential Libraries Worth Visiting. Appendix: Presidential Facts. Index.